What is a Crown?
Just like the cap that covers your toothpaste bottle, a dental crown is a cap that covers your tooth. Typically made of porcelain or metal, dental crowns are placed over teeth to restore tooth function and cosmetic appearance. Here are a few things to know about dental crown procedures.
What to Expect During a Dental Crown Procedure
Most dental crown procedures at Crater Lake Dental involve two visits to the dentist’s office in Medford. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth by filing it down to remove its outer layer and then makes a mold of the tooth. The mold is used as the model to make the actual crown, which is typically made off-site at a laboratory and can take up to several weeks. In the meantime, your dentist will put a temporary crown on the tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is prepared, which will then be cemented on the tooth during the second visit.
Crater Lake Dental has the technology to make the crown in the office the same day, in which case you only have to make one visit to the dentist and you’re done. It’s worth asking your dentist if this is an option and what the estimated cost would be.
When Might You Need a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is often used to cover a tooth that is already weakened, protecting the tooth from further decay and providing extra strength for chewing. A dental crown is also used to protect a tooth after a dental procedure, including a root canal, dental implant, or dental bridge.
Dental crowns are also useful to cover teeth that are misshapen, discolored, or otherwise have an appearance that is not aesthetically pleasing. Getting crowns that are similar to the color of your teeth provides a natural appearance and enhances your smile.
Different Types of Dental Crowns
There are several kinds of dental crowns to choose from, each varying in strength, aesthetic, and cost. The right kind will depend on different factors, including the tooth’s location and the severity of the tooth’s damage. Below are four common options for dental crowns.
Gold crowns have been around for over a century and are extremely strong and durable. The only setback with gold crowns is their appearance, which can be unsightly depending on your taste. For this reason, gold crowns work great for back molars, where the crown is not entirely visible.
Porcelain Fused-to-Metal Crowns
These crowns are made with a metal interior and a porcelain exterior, providing the best of both worlds. They have the benefit of durability while also creating a natural appearance that matches the rest of your teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have also been used for several decades, so dentists know how well they work.
Zirconia crowns are similar to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns in that they have combined metal and porcelain components, but they are a much newer technology.
Lithium Disilicate Crowns
These crowns are also very new but are made of glass-ceramic that creates a lifelike appearance. While these crowns can be made in our dentist’s office with a specialized machine, they may be more expensive than other crowns.
Are Crowns Right For You?
Dental crowns are a great way to protect your teeth while maintaining a natural look. With plenty of options to choose from, you can ensure that you select the crown type that suits you best, combined with the best care here at Crater Lake Dental. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment with our dental professionals.